Glucosamine Supplements for Joint Pain

Do you have aching, popping, creaky joints? Relief might be just a pill away! Studies have shown that glucosamine supplements can offer relief from joint pain, including mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis.

Glucosamine is a naturally occurring chemical compound found within the cartilage of our joints. Healthy cartilage acts as a shock absorber to cushion the joints and allow them to move smoothly. However, as we age, our glucosamine levels begin to drop, and our joints gradually deteriorate.

While experts aren’t entirely sure how glucosamine supplements help to preserve joint health, scientific evidence suggests that taking glucosamine sulfate may alleviate osteoarthritis (particularly in the knees), rheumatoid arthritis, lower back pain, multiple sclerosis, and Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders (Source: The Mayo Clinic).

Glucosamine cannot be found naturally in food sources, so supplements are the only way to reap these joint-preserving benefits. A typical dose of glucosamine sulfate is one 500 milligram capsule three times a day. Side effects are typically mild but may include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Heartburn

If you are considering a glucosamine supplement, talk to your doctor about the recommended dosage and potential complications. Individuals with heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, bleeding disorders, or high blood pressure should not take glucosamine without a doctor’s approval. Individuals who have a shellfish allergy should also be cautious, as glucosamine supplements are often manufactured from the shells of shellfish. Glucosamine is not recommended for children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as studies have not determined whether supplements are safe for these groups (Source: WebMD).